Sophomore albums rarely surpass their previous efforts, and that’s definitely true in the case of The 1975. “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” is an apt title. It’s too long and carries on – just like the album.
With the debut, The 1975 honed in on an original sound with 80’s influences. With this sophomore album, The 1975 have honed in on an 80's sound with hints of their original sound. For the most part, what they’re doing here works alright. It’s a decent enough listen with more than a couple of songs to get into.
The production here is good – everything sounds great and is produced perfectly, but this album doesn’t resonate everywhere. There are a couple of reasons for this. There’s too many transition tracks and weird instrumental sections – that makes the album carry on far too long. That’s one reason why this doesn’t work, but it’s not the primary reason. The primary reason would be the song writing here. There are a few strong songs, but more than half of these just don’t introduce anything substantial into the band’s formula and don’t hold up to the songs on the previous album. My favorite example is “Paris” – strong production and there’s a bass part in the bridge that’s completely original. The song’s great, but then you listen to the lyrics – and they suck. There’s a line in there that literally says “I saw you picking your nose.” That’s all over the album. If the lyrics are good on a song, the hook isn’t. If the hook’s great, the lyrics aren’t.
This isn’t an album that you’ll revisit a whole lot – especially when compared to the debut. There are a couple of good songs here, but nothing that’s really that substantial. It’s not a bad album, it’s just average.